A lot of wine drinkers buy they same — often big-production, commercial — wines because they want to know what they are going to get. They find comfort in knowing the wine buy is going to taste good to them every time they buy it.

Cool-climate regions like the Finger Lakes don’t always offer that invariability. Cloudy, cool summers, poorly timed rain and potentially harmful frost are realities. Some years they all happen. Year-to-year consistency is difficult under these conditions… but it’s not impossible.

Take Sheldrake Point Vineyards 2012 Gewurztraminer $18) — one of the most consistently delicious wines in the Finger Lakes. Does it taste exactly the same every single vintage? No. So in that sense, it doesn’t offer the same type of consistency some need in wine, but it is consistently well made, balanced and tasty.

The nose on the 2012 is spicy, with layers of dried ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, sprinkled over a tropical fruit salad of pineapple, mango and papaya. Sure, there are the expected floral/rose petal notes, but they are supportive rather than dominant here.

Mouth-filling with just a touch of heat on the finish, the palate is a bit more one-dimensional — buy only slightly so. The balance is good, but I find myself wanting just a bit more acidity to clean up the end of what is a long finish. This is a wine tells the story of a long, warm season without being over the top, disjointed or clumsy.

Producer: Sheldrake Point Vineyards
AVA: Finger Lakes
ABV: 13.4%
TA: 6.4 g/l
RS: 5 g/l
pH: 3.78
Price: $18*


(3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)